Scams in Norfolk: DVLA emails, Hermes texts, and investment fraud

Watchdogs are warning people not to fall for a cold call scam. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Avoid giving away personal information to a cold caller - Credit: © ARCHANT

Norfolk County Council has warned of scams currently running in the county.

Be wary texts claiming to be about a missed Hermes delivery

scam text from hermes

An example of a scam text claiming to be from Hermes - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The text contains a link to "book a redelivery", which leads to a fraudulent website that gathers your personal information and requires bank details for the "redelivery." 

The website has been designed to look similar to the Hermes website.

A council spokesperson warned: "Do not click on this link. If you provide scammers with financial details then contact your bank immediately."

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If you receive what you think is a fraudulent message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726.

All phone operators now use this number as the shortcode to report spam texts, which is completely free of charge. Your phone provider can then investigate the sender.

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Be wary of emails claiming to be from the DVLA

One case of this was an email claiming that "The latest payment for your vehicle tax failed" and that "your vehicle is no longer taxed." The email prompts recipients to click the link that allows you to "Pay your vehicle tax now." 

The link will go to a DVLA website that looks legitimate and will, again, attempt to gather personal and financial information. 

A spokesperson from the council said: "Always be wary of claims made in unexpected email approaches, and never click on links or open attachments if approached in this way"

The DVLA offers this advice to avoid scammers:

  • Only use GOV.UK to deal directly with the DVLA
  • The DVLA never sends emails or texts to ask for personal and financial information.
  • Beware of misleading websites that charge for services the DVLA does for free
  • The DVLA only uses numbers beginning with 0300, watch out for premium numbers
  • Be careful never to share your driving license and vehicle documents, they can help scammers steal your identity

Be wary of online investment scams, including fake cryptocurrency exchanges

Losses from falling for investment scams can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.

Cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, only exist online and can't be controlled by banks, treasury, or county. 

The Council's advice is to ensure you understand a currency or investment before transferring your money.

Scams can include:

  • Fake cryptocurrencies that don't exist.
  • A bogus investment that promises to put money in a legitimate cryptocurrency
  • A dangerous website link that downloads malware onto your computer

Be wary of fake Facebook pages that claim to be well-known brands or chains

fake facebook page - center parcs

Fake Facebook page claiming to be Center Parcs giving away a free holiday - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The council has received reports of fake pages on Facebook claiming to be large holiday companies offering 'free holidays'.

These sites attempt to get people to engage with the page by offering '"giveaways", encouraging people to like, comment, and share the post. 

When you see a competition post on Facebook, check these things:

  • Is the page verified? Larger companies and individuals have a blue tick next to their names. Though this is not the case with small, independent companies.
  • Some fake pages will alter the name, look out for punctuation and space changes 
  • Look at the age of the page, was it recently made especially for this competition or another?
  • If they are asking for personal and financial information, never give it away

You can report fake pages on Facebook itself, or use the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

Be wary of telephone cold callers regarding loft insulation

Norfolk people have received calls by scammers claiming they are '"local representatives for loft insulation", and that there were issues that needed to be surveyed.

The council's advice is to be wary of approaches made by telephone, and to never give our personal information or allow someone to visit your home if approached in this manner.

Should you be contacted by any of these scams you can report them to the Council via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

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